I'm basically looking for advice on how to balance the magic system I'm designing for my novel.
Basically, the way it works is this:
There are six known Realms beyond this one where almost magic users draw their abilities from. Such a magician is called a Realmtapper. Each Realm is tapped into a bit differently. However, there are Six major Kingdoms in this world, and each one taps into a different one of these Realms - that is to say, there is 'one Realm per kingdom.' However, this Realmtapping 'energy' is the same for all Six Kingdoms. As a result, an enchanted item from the Elemental kingdom that, as an example, can be used as a heating device, can be recharged by a Realmtapper from another kingdom, but not recreated or modified in any way.
The Sea of Might, Realm of Sorcery - such as psychic and telepathic abilities, as well as teleporation. Used by drawing invisible runic symbols into the air.
The Nameless Mist, Realm of Power. This includes physically improving the body and senses, as well as shapeshifting. Used by channeling mentally and consistently and maintaining one's concentration.
The Endless Shades, Realm of Elements such as fire and water and whatnot. Used by performing certain physical movement patterns, akin to martial arts moves, to do different actions with the elements.
The Divine Peaks, Realm of Favors - such as blessings and curses - and also of manipulating and solidifying light. Used by calling upon the Peaks in a form similar to prayer.
The Veil of Souls, Realm of Death, including raising the dead and all that that entails, as well as manipulating and solidifying solid shadow. Used by splintering the soul in pieces that are infused with power.
Advah. This is the world the story takes place on, and the magical powers here involve infusing yourself with improvements - ie physical strength, senses, no need to eat or drink for a while, etc - as well as, more uncommonly, the ability to control/manipulate metals and gravitational and electromagnetic fields.
There are, however, limitations to this.
- Realmtapping exhausts stamina. The more you tap, the more tired you are. You can use several small realmtapping abilities, or perhaps one large one, before you are exhausted to the point of stopping. If you continue to realmtap beyond your limits, you will lose consciousness. As a result, being in good physical shape helps Realmtap for longer periods of time.
- Realms have ties to certain environments. You can expect Realmtapping to come easily in some locations, but require much more effort in others. The Sea of Might is connected to knowledge, and as such is stronger in areas where knowledge is more prevalent, like libraries or books or other places of learnings. The Shades is connected to nature and 'uncivilized' land, etc. As a result, you may be an excellent Realmtapper of the Shades, but there are some things you just can’t do in a well-populate, industrialized city.
- The Realm Barrier can vary wildly. The barrier acts as a sort of buffer between Advah and the space between all of the Realms - that space being known as the mysterious Realm-Between-Realms. The stronger the Realm Barrier is to where you are located on Advah, the harder it is to Realmtap. However, that’s not all. The Barrier fluctuates based on how much that Realm is currently being tapped into at your location - as a result, the more you Realmtap in a certain location, the more difficult it becomes, through the barrier slowly grows more stable over time in periods of low usage.
- Being able to Realmtap is something that approximately ~1% of the population can do.
Also, I can go into detail with any specific Realm if you ask me to! I just didn't want to dump too many words here at once without cause.
I suppose my main concerns are these:
- How do I balance the Mist to be more in line with the others (it seems a bit weak to me?) and how do I do the same for the Peaks? (This one seems to powerful, unless I limit it somehow to only be short-term effects of something to that end.)
- Are there any glaring problems you guys think I might encounter with said system? Are there not enough restrictions?
The two questions above are the main ones I'm really here to ask about. The two below are just sort of there, and it'd be really nice if someone wanted to take a stab at them :)
- If this world was to take place in an almost early 1900's level of technological advancement, how might each Realm either improve or replace certain technologies? Some obvious ones are of course the Elemental kingdom having an easy time with... well, a lot of things, but if you have any other things you want to mention please feel free to do so!
- And, of course, is there anything else I should consider as I build this system up?